It was a typical summer’s day, misty and murky with low hanging cloud and fine rain. Perfect for visiting a castle close to Pendle Hill, a place famous for the 17th Century Pendle Witch Trials.
The Castle Keep is over 800 years old, it sits atop Castle Hill overlooking Clitheroe and beyond. Set in the grounds is the Clitheroe Castle Museum. A fun place to discover more about the region’s geology and history.
There was a Victorian kitchen to explore and a room dedicated to witchcraft and superstition. It said that in times gone by the purifying qualities of salt were thought to destroy a witche’s power. So taking a handful of salt on nine consecutive mornings and sprinkling it on the fire while reciting the following charm was meant to guard against witches:
Salt, salt, salt,
I put thee into the fire,
and may the person who has bewitched me
neither eat, drink nor sleep until the spell is broken.
I’m struggling to sleep at the moment, so perhaps I have bewitched someone? Hopefully.
Anyway there was plenty to keep one boy and his mum entertained for the afternoon. Costumes to dress up in, keys to be found, coffee to be drunk in the cafe and shop to browse. It was great. There is also a little art gallery onsite and of course the views from the castle.
It was throwing it down as we left the museum and headed up to the castle, however a lady in medieval costume buoyed our spirits.
“Come quickly,” she said. “Two knights are about to start battling outside the castle.”
My son was delighted, just the day before he had dressed up as a knight at school. He loves swords and regularly challnges me to sword fights. We climbed the steps to watch the battle, when two men both wearing armour did in fact engage in a metal-clanging battle.
Boy-oh-boy, talk about being in the right place at the right time. The grand finale was a real cannon being loaded and fired. It was the stuff of a seven year old boy’s dreams. Then we marvelled at the view which was obscured somewhat by the low hanging cloud.
Clitheroe Castle Museum, Castle Hill, Clitheroe BB7 1BA.
Admission is free to accompanied children under 16. Adults £3.50, concessions £2.90